Defining Microbial Signatures of Dysbiosis in Anxiety-Related Disorders

Seminar Details
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:00am


Christopher Fields
Georgia State University Neuroscience Institute


5623 Med. Sci. II  (Wheeler Seminar Room)

Emily Jutkiewicz

The gut microbiome is a complex community featuring a bewildering array of microbial species. Over the past couple decades, there has been an explosion of research demonstrating that gut microbiota play critical roles in a variety of host functions, including immune modulation, metabolism, and brain function and behavior. Mechanistic approaches such as fecal microbiota transfer from disease models into healthy subjects have demonstrated direct effects of gut microbiota on these host parameters but sequencing of fecal samples from similar subjects across different cohorts can reveal wide differences in microbial composition. This wide variability is also seen in clinical subjects within specific disease states postulated to be influenced by gut microbiota. Nevertheless, there are likely to be core features of the gut microbiota that may be modulated across different disease conditions to transmit similar signals to the host.
In this talk, I will share some of my work with profiling the gut microbiota of a popular disease model in behavioral neuroendocrinology, in search of defining a specific microbial profile. I will then broaden the scope to examine how studying the state of gut microbiota across a number of different conditions allows us to gain insight into potential unifying mechanisms for how gut microbiota may regulate behavioral states, and how such an approach may provide useful insights that may overcome some of the limitations of gut microbiota analysis. In particular, I will look at one potential mechanism, gut microbial interaction with intestinal epithelium innate immune receptor TLR4 and subsequent breakdown of epithelial integrity, and how active regulation of this process by gut microbiota may contribute to disordered behavior across a number of different disease states.  

Sponsored by the Host Microbiome Initiative